GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been accused of market “abuse” by the consumer watchdog, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).
The OFT alleges that the pharmaceutical giant paid rivals to delay the release their own versions of GSK’s Seroxat treatment.
Alpharma, Generics UK and Norton Healthcare all received money not to enter the market with their copies of Seroxat, it said.
GSK said it “acted within the law”.
“GSK supports fair competition,” it said.
“In fact, these arrangements actually resulted in generic versions of paroxetine entering the market before GSK’s patents had expired,” the company said in a statement.
Moreover, it added that “the OFT investigation covers matters that have already been investigated by the European Commission in 2005-2006”.
“In March 2012 the Commission announced that it had formally concluded its enquiry with no further action,” it said.
“The issues were also reviewed in the European Commission’s 2008-2009 Sector Inquiry. Neither investigation resulted in any sanctions against the company.”